Just got my cooker, need advice about bags

I just received an Anova Precision Cooker as a birthday gift and need some advice about bags. For environmental reasons I’m not a fan of single use plastic bags and from what I can tell that is part and parcel to SV cooking but maybe I am wrong.
Would love to learn from the community which bags I can use that would not be “single use”. The idea of using a zip-lock freezer bag once and then throwing it in the trash knowing that it will eventually end up in the ocean and take decades to decompose (if it ever decomposes, who knows) sounds like a pretty bad idea. Even worse if I am using multiple ziplock bags per meal as that would mean that multiple ziplock bags are tossed in the bin every time I use the cooker. There’s got to be a better way. Please advise.

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Hi @sheridavid

If you are up to the hassle of cleaning them there are reusable silicone bags you can use. Be aware that there’s probably a limited selection of bag sizes available so you may need to cut what you are cooking into appropriate sizes a little more often that you would with some other options.
Also, some items can be cooked in mason jars, so they are another reusable option.

I normally use a vacuum sealer and their heavier reusable bags. You lose an inch each time you cut them open. When they get smaller I will use them for smaller item non sou vide uses. I have used both the silicone and ziplock bags. While silicone bags are a good idea the sizes commonly available restrict the cook. Also I have never trusted Ziplock bags for 2-4 day cooks.

I just bought a thing called a Savour Sous vide combo pack of reusable bags, caps and snorkels. I haven’t use it yet, but you can get a good idea from their website:
You don’t need a vacuum sealer or pump to use it. I don’t want to go into writing out all the instructions, but it looks pretty nifty. Check out their website.

Looks and websites can be unreliable indicators of utility Penni.

Please advise us on your experiences using them, particularly how you clean them after use.

Would you mind sharing references for these bags? I like your idea of reusing them, never occured to me that a heavier bag would be suitable for that. I’ll give it a try

I do not have any reference it is just what I have always done. I turn them inside out and give each a good washing with very hot water and soap.

Prior to using them for sous vide I would use the bags over and over until they were too small. They had to be pretty small to throw out. I use them to store small items like matches for camping, emergency dry clothes, things that tend to leak like oils and greases (not much vacuum just sealed). Using your imagination there is no end to the possibilities.

If you mean where do I get them:

thanks john, I was looking for the kind of bag you are using. Always good to have several alternative sources

I haven’t had a chance to use it. I’ll post comments when I can.

Even if you live near an ocean, it is not very likely your bags will end up in it.
I do appreciate your concern and proactive stance. I’m a minor tree hugger as well and would like to keep what I can out of landfills also. The local trash picks up recyclables twice a month and Kroger has a bin you can put food grade plastic in.

With that said, I like the one and done, cut to fit vacuum bags. Making oversized bags to reuse is a good idea. Just keep in mind you may need to wrap and secure the excess around your protein so that it won’t restrict the circulation of the water.

The more you use your cooker, the more your going to love it.

I did a chicken half-breast with a juicy sauce in a Savour bag - followed the easy-to-follow instructions on the package (which are the same instructions in the video on their website). It was easy to get the irregular (bone in) meat in the bag, The plastic is heavier than ziplock bags -didn’t have to clean the snorkel because it only touched water, everything worked, including washing out the bag with soapy water after I removed the chicken. Probably won’t use it al the time, but it would be better and easier for liquids than my vacuum sealer.

I use 8 inch and 11 inch rolls of plastic and cut my own bags for my foodsaver. Easy to wash and reuse, especially if frozen items or bread were vacuum sealed.